Noah’s Ark Controversy: Theologian’s Genesis Flood Claim Ignites Social Media Reaction

Posted by


Billy Hallowell and Faithwire News

A theologian who sparked an intense social media debate when he posited the Bible’s Noah’s ark narrative was potentially speaking about a regional—and not a global—flood is now speaking out to offer further context on his theory.

Gavin Ortlund, president of Truth Unites, told CBN News he initially made his argument in a highly watched social media video, explaining his belief the Genesis 6 narrative is “about a regional event that was in a huge area of the Earth, but not all over the globe.”

“I just wanted to help people understand some of the arguments for that view—help people understand that there actually are differences within orthodox Christianity,” Ortlund said. “Historically, a lot of people are not aware of that.”

Breaking News. Spirit-Filled Stories. Subscribe to Charisma on YouTube now!

The theologian said the issue of Noah’s ark often poses problems for skeptics and those within the Christian community who are scientifically minded. Ortlund said he’s motivated to help people understand complex views around some of the more complex and debated issues.

As for Ortlund’s own beliefs, he said he tends to lean toward thinking the flood was “local or regional,: noting, though, he doesn’t necessarily believe it was small in scope, even if limited to a particular geographic area.

In the end, he said, the debate boils down to how one interprets the story of Noah in Genesis. One of the factors, according to Ortlund, was the confined nature of humanity at that time.

“There really is a good case, actually, that, in its original meaning, the author and the original hearers wouldn’t be thinking of … all of the globe of planet Earth, so this is just a matter of interpreting Scripture,” he said. “Humanity, at this point, appears to also have just been regional. This is before the dispersion of human beings that happens after the tower of Babel and Genesis 10 and 11, so all of human beings are in this one portion of the Earth at this point before they had dispersed throughout the world.”

Ortlund said his initial video discussing the issue sparked many responses on YouTube and an overwhelmingly negative reaction on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Get your FREE CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS today! Stay up-to-date with current issues, Holy Spirit news, Christian teachings, Charisma videos & more!

Despite the reaction, he said there have been some traditional Christians in the past who have made this very same argument. While admitting these perspectives constitute a collective minority view, he added his belief that some people today simply don’t realize such claims have historically existed.

Ortlund also pushed back on the notion he’s a theological liberal or somehow espousing beliefs not rooted in Scripture.

“I’m an evangelical Christian,” he said. “I believe in biblical inerrancy. I think the Scripture is fully trustworthy. I think if people were to go down the line on … the average sort of testing issues of our times, they’d find me pretty conservative, pretty classically Christian in my instincts.”

To read the full story, visit our content partners at Faithwire.

Reprinted with permission from Copyright © 2024 The Christian Broadcasting Network Inc. All rights reserved.

Join Charisma Magazine Online to follow everything the Holy Spirit is doing around the world!

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top
Copy link